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Perversity   Listen
noun
Perversity  n.  The quality or state of being perverse; perverseness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Perversity" Quotes from Famous Books



... about it, Tina Lenz was a flirt, as she had a perfect right to be, living as she did on the romantic shores of Como, celebrated in song, story, and drama as the lover's blue lake. Tina had many admirers, and it was just like her perversity to favor the one to whom her father most objected. Pietro, as the father truly said, was a beggarly Italian driver, glad of the few francs he got from the travellers he took over the humble Maloga to the Engadine, or over the elevated Stelvio to the Tyrol, the lowest and the highest passes in Europe. ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... thrown herself on her knees and was praying aloud: praying to the Virgin with sighs and sobs and all her soul: wrestling so in prayer with a dead saint as by a strange perversity men cannot or will not wrestle with Him, who alone can hear a million prayers at once from a million different places,—can realize and be touched with a sense of all man's infirmities in a way no single saint with his partial experience of them can realize and be touched by ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... beautiful should live forever,—and thence, perhaps, the sense of impropriety when we see it triumphed over by time. Apple-trees, on the other hand, grow old without reproach. Let them live as long as they may, and contort themselves into whatever perversity of shape they please, and deck their withered limbs with a springtime gaudiness of pink blossoms; still they are respectable, even if they afford us only an apple or two in a season. Those few apples—or, ...
— Buds and Bird Voices (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... see a softening in her face as she turned away towards the window, whence were to be seen the stretch of the lawn and the park-meadows beyond. I believe that with a little more coaxing she would have pardoned me, but at the instant, by another stroke of perversity, a small figure sauntered across the sunny fields. The fairest ...
— Simon Dale • Anthony Hope

... guilty of the same crime, by the law of God, which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. For even that intercourse which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature, of which He is Author, is polluted by perversity of lust. But those actions which are offences against the customs of men, are to be avoided according to the customs severally prevailing; so that a thing agreed upon, and confirmed, by custom or law of any city or nation, may not be violated at the lawless pleasure of any, whether native ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... sometimes told him in a fit of short-lived, quickly repented anger that always set him laughing, yet there was never a word or gesture that could hint of undue familiarity. It would probably have met a rebuff from the princess part of her; for what a perversity, both royal and feminine, she wanted all the freedom for herself. In short, like any other woman, she would rather love than be loved, that is, until surrender day ...
— When Knighthood Was in Flower • Charles Major

... demanded Berkeley, argumentatively. "She'll never do any better; Jim's a handsome fellow, as men go, brave, honorable and sweet-tempered. What more does she want? It looks to me like sheer perversity." ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... painful sense of incompleteness and loss. With greater self-discipline, how much more he might have accomplished for himself and for others! Gifted, self-willed, proud, passionate, with meager moral sense, he forfeited success by his perversity and his vices. From his own character and experience he drew the unhealthy and pessimistic views to which he has given expression in the maddening poem, The Conqueror Worm. And if there were not happier and nobler lives, we might well say with him, as we stand ...
— Poets of the South • F.V.N. Painter

... the silk, satin, brocade and embroidery, the buckles, canes and swords, all displayed to the best advantage on persons suited to such finery—made the group appear more like a bright-colored picture than anything real. But by what perversity of taste had the artist represented his principal figure as so wrinkled and decayed, while yet he had decked her out in the brightest splendor of attire, as if the loveliest maiden had suddenly withered into age and become ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... A spirit of perversity rose in Patty's heart. Without knowing why, she desired to inflict a hurt on the man who was smiling ...
— Patty's Suitors • Carolyn Wells

... The whole of Dr. Stukeley's tract is a most curious instance of learned perversity and obstinacy. The coin is broken away where the letter F should be, and Stukeley himself allows that the upper part of the T might be worn away, and so the inscription really be Fortuna Aug; ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... rushed out of the room, to choke in solitude his sense of humiliation, nor would he suffer any one for an instant to allude to his disgrace. Dr. Rowlands had hinted that Upton was doing him no good; but he passionately resented the suggestion, and determined, with obstinate perversity, to cling more than ever to the boy whom he had helped to involve in the same trouble ...
— Eric • Frederic William Farrar

... and of flying to some part of the country where he was entirely unknown, crowded upon him incessantly. But with that perversity that nature seemingly delights in, there had arisen in his heart since he had lost her, such a love for Rachel Bond as made life without her, or without her esteem even, seem valueless. To go into a strange part of the country and begin life anew would be to give her up forever, and ...
— The Red Acorn • John McElroy

... Sophie's open door; her sister held out her arms, her eyes overflowing with tears, but smiling with the strange perversity that possesses some people on these occasions. Cornelia was troubled with no such misplaced self-dental; she threw herself impatiently down by Sophie, and sobbed with all her might. Possibly it was more than one regret ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... the R obliterated. If the ship's blocks were branded with the name of the vessel to which they were attached, this would be important as establishing the identity of the ship that drifted down as the 'Terror'. As an instance of the perversity of fate, I mention that we found among them a piece of wax candle that they had preserved all these years, while every scrap of paper had perished. We saw here a Netchillik, named Issebluet, who with his family had nearly starved to death during the summer. He was separated ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... as if it had been made for Eleanor to settle her two life-questions in it. Accordingly she took them up without delay; but Eleanor's mind that night was like a kaleidoscope. Images of different people and things started up, with wearying perversity of change and combination; and the question, whether she would be a servant of God like her aunt Caxton, was inextricably twisted up with the other question; whether she could escape being the baroness of Rythdale ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume I • Susan Warner

... curious mixture of feelings he had heard this. Things were very pitiful up at the little flat, and though his inmost sympathy had gone out generously enough to both girls, with a perversity born of narrow insight he had reserved the ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... said Keech, drawing a kind of peppered dignity up about himself, "in such matters I am never fully convinced. After living for many centuries I am all too acutely aware of the perversity of human nature." ...
— Houlihan's Equation • Walt Sheldon

... we saw them dart beneath our boat in the early morning; but not until a driving snowstorm set in, about noon of the second day, did we succeed in persuading any of them to take the fly. Then they rose, for a couple of hours, with amiable perversity. I caught five, weighing between two and four pounds each, and stopped because my hands were so numb that I could cast ...
— Fisherman's Luck • Henry van Dyke

... The perversity in attaching through preconceived views a wrong significance to signs is illustrated by an anecdote found in several versions and in several languages, but repeated as a veritable Scotch legend by Duncan Anderson, esq., Principal ...
— Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes • Garrick Mallery

... to sully with blame The white bust of Penn, in the niche of his fame! Self-will is self-wounding, perversity blind On himself fell the stain for the ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... the power of the will. But you can say, 'Now I will make an effort to trust.' For faith is in the power of the will, and when the Master said, 'Ye will not come unto me,' He taught us that unbelief is not a mere intellectual deficiency or perversity, but that it is the result, in the majority of cases—I might almost say in all-of an alienated will. Therefore, if you wish to love, do not try to work yourself into a hysteria of affection, but take into your hearts and minds the Christian facts, and mainly the fact of the Cross, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... that of Basil French's high conservatism—a person whom there had been no other way of dealing with, how could she prove him, in this other and so different interest, a mere gentle sacrifice to his wife's perversity? She had, before him there, on the instant, all acutely, a sense of rising sickness—a wan glimmer of foresight as to the end of the fond dream. Everything else was against her, everything in her dreadful ...
— The Great English Short-Story Writers, Vol. 1 • Various

... but he was exquisitely vain. He had a good-humored turn for mischief, too; and, notwithstanding the repulse he had experienced, or perhaps, such is human perversity—in consequence of it—he was more than ever resolved to pursue his guilty designs upon the ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... found at morning on the stones in a dying state. But though there was some evidence of cruelty, there was none of murder; and the aunt and her husband had sought to palliate cruelty by alleging the exceeding stubbornness and perversity of the child, who was declared to be half-witted. Be that is it may, at the orphan's death the aunt inherited her brother's fortune. Before the first wedded year was out the American quitted England abruptly, and never returned to it. He obtained a cruising vessel, which was ...
— The Best Ghost Stories • Various

... mine!" A great deal of ill-nature was generated, in England, by this one affair of the Privateers, had there been no other: and in dark cellars of men's minds (empty and dark on this matter), there arose strange caricature Portraitures of Friedrich: and very mad notions—of Friedrich's perversity, astucity, injustice, malign and dangerous intentions—are more or less vocal in the Old Newspapers and Distinguished Correspondences of those days. Of which, this ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... pleasant to insurance agents, from sheer lack of manhood; and to keep library books out over the date and so incur a fine. My only hope, you see, is resolutely to determine to persist in these failings. Then, by sheer perversity, I may grow out ...
— Mince Pie • Christopher Darlington Morley

... having before twice seen it. But the Crypt is the only thing worth talking about, on the score of antiquity. The same accomplished guide bade me remark the extraordinary formation of the capitals of the pillars: which, admitting some perversity of taste in a rude, Norman, imitative artist, are decidedly of Roman character. "Perhaps," said M. Le Prevost, "the last efforts of Roman art previous to the relinquishment of the Romans." Among these capitals there is one of the perfect Doric order; while in ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... would never have a chance to see him again. Clemens in after years blamed himself harshly for not making the trip, declaring that their whole reason for not going was an irritable reluctance on his part to take the troublesome journey and a perversity of spirit for which there was no real excuse. There is documentary evidence against this harsh conclusion. They were, in fact, delayed here and there by misconnections and the continued terrific weather, ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... in stony silence. His grave face was accusing in its set expression, and she felt it, and was spurred on to do still deeper injustice to herself—an insane perversity. ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... acquisitions of half my waking lifetime should be blotted out, if so be in exchange I might be shown the record of what I had seen and known during those hours of which my waking memory showed no trace. None the less for the conviction of its hopelessness, but rather all the more, as the perversity of our human nature will have it, the longing for this forbidden lore grew on me, till the hunger of Eve ...
— The Blindman's World - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... whose wings had not yet brushed the far distant heights of paradise. Again, in her pagan gladness of living, she might have been a Valkyr come down from Valhalla on a shooting-star. And yet, in this wilderness that was famishing for woman's love and tears and laughter, by a very perversity ...
— Judith Of The Plains • Marie Manning

... morning she watched her sister with intense anxiety, but she dared not urge her further, and Sonia seemed possessed by some imp of perversity to do everything in her power to prolong Olga's suspense. She stayed in bed till the last minute, dawdled over her breakfast, insisted upon giving the baby her bath—a task which she usually left to ...
— The Torch Bearer - A Camp Fire Girls' Story • I. T. Thurston

... round the circle. With a perversity that, dreading success, and conscious of fear, yet longs to strive for what it dreads to win, I returned to her again. The death of her mother was my ...
— Told in a French Garden - August, 1914 • Mildred Aldrich

... the linnets and finches communicated through the window a pleasanter sentiment. Nature was gay and inspiring on this lovely May-day. By a perversity quite natural with me, my letter to Berkley, which it was my first care to write and post, contained but a slight reflection of my woes. My need of a passport only appeared in a postscriptum, wherein I begged him to arrange that little affair for me in some ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... that they had all been seeking satisfaction in their own pursuits, in the pride of their own way; that they had been disappointed, even to weariness; and that yet, such was their perversity, they would not acknowledge the hopelessness of the pursuit, and turn to that God who was ready to pardon, and in whose courts a day would give them more delight than a thousand in the tents of wickedness. And opening his peroration by presumptuously appropriating the words of the Saviour, "Verily, ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... been made in spite of the perversity of fortune and the vagaries of human hearts, which, amidst other casualties, might have led the Princess to accord her preference to the elder brother, Prince Ernest, who was also "a fine young fellow," ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... of Romance left in this old world yet if one would only go to seek it. Here I was, sun-browned, strong, healthy, having come through many trials and still on the edge of adventure, when I might, but for my own headstrong perversity, have yet been vegetating on the hills of Glengyle. A great exultation welled up in me, the voice of youth and ambition, the lust to conquer. I would succeed, I would wrest from the vast, lonely, mysterious North some of its treasure. I would be ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... and with shot and steel Abundantly purveyed for their delight, Banners before whose Cross the foe should kneel, His company embarked—how great a light Through men's perversity to stoop and reel Down ...
— Days of the Discoverers • L. Lamprey

... English law, and has implacable feuds with sundry refractory pieces of furniture. Among these is one in particular with which he is sure to have a high quarrel every tune he goes to dress. It is a commode, one of those smooth, polished, plausible pieces of French furniture that have the perversity of five hundred devils. Each drawer has a will of its own, will open or not, just as the whim takes it, and sets lock and key at defiance. Sometimes a drawer will refuse to yield to either persuasion or force, and will part with both handles rather ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... are telling me," laughed she; and then, with feminine perversity, "Go on, what is ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... said the chieftain, "and I deem that thy meaning is that we should go supperless to bed; and this cometh of thy perversity: for we know thee despite thy vizard. Belike thou deemest that thou shalt not be met this even, and that there is no free alien in the island to draw sword against thee. But beware! For when we came aland ...
— The Story of the Glittering Plain - or the Land of Living Men • William Morris

... district, and so was bound to carry him off sooner or later; for, as a travelling medical man had once observed, the consumptive who did not get well in the eucalyptus-scented air of inland Australia deserved to die, if only for the perversity of refusing Nature's kindliest aid! A ruptured blood-vessel certainly assisted in the collapse of Godson, but it was not even that which so ...
— Colonial Born - A tale of the Queensland bush • G. Firth Scott

... a peculiar perversity in meeting the objection by alleging other singularities in the ordinance as for example, that the vessels of the tabernacle are appointed (chap. xxv.) before the tabernacle itself (chap. xxvi.). This last is no eccentricity; the order in commanding is first the end, and then the ...
— Prolegomena to the History of Israel • Julius Wellhausen

... clasped in both hands, and of her own heroism in sacrificing her complexion to save the houseboat. As it turned out, we had no need to row ashore. With little or nothing to account for it, except the perversity of gasoline, or perhaps the contents of the little pink box, the flames with a ...
— Virginia: The Old Dominion • Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

... of man's faithlessness, perversity, wrongheadedness, disobedience; persisted in, till there was no remedy. And now, to be sure, they are a desolation. But that is not what God willed for ...
— Daisy in the Field • Elizabeth Wetherell

... might have lived here (since I had my opportunity early in life); I might have put in here all these years. Then everything would have been different enough—and, I dare say, 'funny' enough. But that's another matter. And then the beauty of it—I mean of my perversity, of my refusal to agree to a 'deal'—is just in the total absence of a reason. Don't you see that if I had a reason about the matter at all it would have to be the other way, and would then be inevitably a reason of dollars? There are no reasons ...
— The Jolly Corner • Henry James

... promised to go to the theatre with me, she took it suddenly into her head to refuse to go out, and begged me to leave her alone. I was in such despair over the perversity which cost me a day's work, and (if I must confess it) my last shilling as well, that I went alone where she was to have been, desiring to see the play she had wished to see. I had scarcely seated myself when an ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... innocence which she assumed when it so pleased her, an expression which contrasted powerfully with her true nature, shameless creature that she really was, of the most monstrous, confessed, and openly-displayed perversity; such as, in fact, often spring up from the rotting soil of great cities. Extraordinary things were related about Silviane's tastes and fancies. Some said that she was a door-keeper's, others a doctor's, daughter. In any case she had managed to acquire instruction ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... unpardoned offence, in the present dreadful state of Rachel's mind. Moving blindfold in this matter, you have added to the burden of anxiety which she has had to bear, by innocently threatening her secret with discovery, through your exertions. It is impossible for me to excuse the perversity that holds you responsible for consequences which neither you nor I could imagine or foresee. She is not to be reasoned with—she can only be pitied. I am grieved to have to say it, but for the present, you and Rachel are better apart. The only advice ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... for the little maid, for she had so bravely struggled with adversity of fortune and perversity of family. So there were four flower girls, and the music teacher played at the wedding march! In spite of her efforts, Lohengrin seemed suffering as it came ...
— The Lady and Sada San - A Sequel to The Lady of the Decoration • Frances Little

... heathen poet whose words these are, ("We move towards what is forbidden"), describes well the perversity and the imbecility of our nature. Vid Ovid Amor. lib. iii. eleg. 4 ver. 17 Met. ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... relieve me from the double crush that else may wholly destroy mine. Let us both, while we yet venture to hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Nothing on my part shall be wanting to save this blow; but should his perversity make it inevitable, we must unite our utmost strength, not alone to console each other, but to snatch from that "sombre dcouragement"(309) you so well foresee, the wilful, but ever fondly-loved dupe of his own insouciance. . ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 3 • Madame D'Arblay

... picture of a cat is hard to paint, from a technical standpoint, because the artist must represent not only the soft surface of fur, but the underlying hard lines of muscle: and his studies must be made under conditions of cat perversity which are at times quite enough to drive him wild. If he is to represent the cat in repose, he must wait for her to take that position of her own accord; and then, just as his sketch is well under way, she is liable to rise, ...
— Concerning Cats - My Own and Some Others • Helen M. Winslow

... THE CYNICS.—Aristippus, in his praises of pleasure as the one good for man (see above, p. 126), remarks that there were some who [209] refused pleasure "from perversity of mind," taking pleasure, so to speak, in the denial of pleasure. The school of the Cynics made this perverse mood, as Aristippus deemed it, the maxim of their philosophy. As the Cyrenaic school was the school of the rich, the courtly, the self-indulgent, so the Cynic was the school ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... to ignore our mental imperfections and to talk and act as though our minds were exact instruments,—something wherewith to scale the heavens with assurance,—and also we are biassed to believe that, except for perversity, all ...
— First and Last Things • H. G. Wells

... her eyes. He had at all times a moderate estimate of his own value in the world, his own appeal to it. Perhaps that was one reason, aside from the natural sex revulsion, why Anne's exaggerated fostering had roused in him that wearied perversity. But it was warming to see Charlotte glad enough to cry over him. When they had set down the trunk and the two had gone downstairs, he looked about the room and found it good. The walls were chiefly paneling, all but some expanses of a rich rose and blue paper; the hangings were of a delicious ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... a pregnant pause. Six months: conception of the idea to delivery of finished product; six months, working together, fighting men, nature, and the perversity of inanimate objects—all ...
— Question of Comfort • Les Collins

... Her mood of perversity and defiance did not yield to a ten mile gallop over the gentle hills of that lovely part of Indiana, but held on through the afternoon and controlled her toilet for the ball. She knew that every girl in town would appear at that most fashionable party of the summer season in the best ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... lying is the meanest. It is in some cases the offspring of perversity and vice, and in many others of sheer moral cowardice. Yet many persons think so lightly of it that they will order their servants to lie for them; nor can they feel surprised if, after such ignoble instruction, they find ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... wished. I think I mentioned that I did not dote on Miss Scatcherd." For, the moment a piece of perversity is possible, this young ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... insolent foe to the police. As it had been possible to predict, from the mere look with which he had risen to his feet, the kind of cross-examination in store for each witness called by the prosecution, so it was obvious now that his own witness had come forward from her own wilful perversity and in direct ...
— The Shadow of the Rope • E. W. Hornung

... my dear, you are quite certain as to who made you, and for what purpose you were made. You nature myths were created in the Mythopoeic age by the perversity of old heathen nations: and you serve your creator religiously. That is quite as it should be. But I have no such authentic information as to my origin and mission in life, I appear at all events to have no natural talent ...
— Jurgen - A Comedy of Justice • James Branch Cabell

... away any such subtlety. It cannot be expected to understand the paradox or perversity of the Englishman, who thus can feel friendly and avoid friends. That is the truth in the suggestion that Dickens was sentimental. It means that he probably felt most sociable when he was solitary. In all these attempts ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... opposition to the want of information, and the too great confidence in ministers, who though in duty bound to ascertain the temper and disposition of the Americans, had totally failed for want of that knowledge. An appeal to the sword was denounced as a most dangerous precedent, and by a strange perversity of mind the leaders of the American revolution were described and especially by Wilkes, as men averse to a change of government, and as being only driven to extremities by an accumulation of neglect, insult and injury, and by two years of a savage, piratical, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... fundamental." Colton, 275. Every grown-up individual, says McCulloch, Principles, 1825, II, ch. 2, may be looked upon as a machine which has cost several years of continued care and a considerable sum for its construction. It is only another side of this same perversity, when McCulloch seeks to force the results produced by animals and machines into the definition of labor. Schlozer, Anfangsgruende (1805), I, 21, goes so far as to call the soul, raw material, which ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... of the cardinal symptoms to be considered is negativism. This term, which is often loosely used, we would define as perversity of behavior which seems to express antagonism to the environment or to the wishes of those about the patient. Naturally it is only in the minor stupors that we see it in well-developed form as active opposition and cantankerousness. For example, Harriett C., who stood about until ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... The perversity of his experience came to him vividly. In actual fact he had made such a leap in time as romancers have imagined again and again. And that fact realised, he had been prepared. His mind had, as it ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... and of tearful melancholy which possessed Germany eighteen years since, in consequence of certain excellent works that were ill understood and indiscreetly imitated. People have been right, I say, to combat this perversity, though the indulgence with which men are disposed to receive the parodies of these elegiac caricatures—that are very little better themselves—the complaisance shown to bad wit, to heartless satire and spiritless mirth, show ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... 242. The perversity of man is as strong and piercing as the thorn of the jungle. With eyes of suspicion and venomous anger do they accuse and persecute them who believe upon ...
— Buddhist Psalms • Shinran Shonin

... brother was left to brood gloomily upon the selfish perversity that thus actually defrauded ...
— The Prodigal Father • J. Storer Clouston

... dragging along with it such a coil of fables, impurities, intolerances, as makes it a questionable step for me here and now to say, as I have done, that Mahomet was a true Speaker at all, and not rather an ambitious charlatan, perversity, and simulacrum, no Speaker, but a Babbler! Even in Arabia, as I compute, Mahomet will have exhausted himself and become obsolete, while this Shakespeare, this Dante may still be young;—while this Shakespeare may still pretend ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... would thou prove what is my chivalry, On other ground I to thy wish incline; Yet deem me not of such perversity As to tilt with thee for this prize of thine. Or fair or foul, let her remain thy fee; I would not, I, such amity disjoin. Well are ye paired, and safely would I swear That thou as valiant art as ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... stood stupefied with horror by this ghastly spectacle and still holding open the door, by some unaccountable perversity my attention was diverted from the shocking scene and concerned itself with trifles and details. Perhaps my mind, with an instinct of self-preservation, sought relief in matters which would relax its dangerous tension. Among other things, I observed that the door that ...
— Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories • Ambrose Bierce

... waiter, who chanced to be an old friend, pointed to a little bowl half-full of sugar and exclaimed: "I ought to warn you, sir, it's all you're to have for a week, and I'm sorry to say you're only allowed a bit of bread, too." It is human perversity to want a great deal of bread when bread becomes scarce; even war bread, which, by the way, is better than white. But the rest of the luncheon, when it came, proved that John Bull was under no necessity of stinting himself. Save ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... that we are comadre and compadre. Our privileges are many." He abruptly dismissed the intimate "thou," with his usual American perversity. ...
— The Doomswoman - An Historical Romance of Old California • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... British goods, therefore they were held down more than the southern colonies, which grew only tobacco, sugar, rice and indigo, which could in no degree interfere with the sacred shopkeepers and mill-owners of England. An insanity of blindness and perversity seized upon the English government, and upon most of the people; they actually were incapable of seeing justice, or even their own best interests. It seems strange to us now; but it was a mania, like that of witchcraft, though it lasted thrice as many ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... remained to be done. But what had tried Joyce almost beyond endurance was to find that her greatest opposition came from the people she was trying to benefit. Often she found herself, through her builders, butting against a wall of human perversity and stupidity ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... specifically of Jehovah—not knowledge of a code, but fidelity to the demands of conscience. It was, however, the peculiar business of the priests to proclaim and develop that knowledge; and for the deplorable perversity of Israel, they are largely held responsible, iv. 6. The worship of Jehovah, which ought to be a moral service, vi. 6, is indistinguishable from Baal worship (ii.) and idolatry. Upon the calf, the symbol under which ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel honoured? I ...
— Georgian Poetry 1920-22 • Various

... an old-timer, sly but fearless, who hated Colby Macdonald with a bitter jealousy that could not be placated and he took no pains to hide the fact. He had happened to be in the vicinity prospecting when Macdonald had rushed his entries. Partly out of mere perversity and partly by reason of native shrewdness, old Holt had slipped in and located one of the best claims in the heart of the group. Nor had he been moved to a reasonable compromise by any amount of persuasion, threats, or tentative offers to buy a relinquishment. He was obstinate. He knew a good ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... administer a husband now Dorothy was grown up. The cases were in precise parallel, and never the ray of distrust entered Mrs. Hanway-Harley's mind. Dorothy was not to escape good fortune merely because, through some perversity of girlish ignorance, she might choose ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... into the watery sunlight when there was a break in the weather, and bidding them be of good cheer, for their trouble was nearly at an end; scuttling on his dun pony round the outskirts of the camp and heading back men who, with the innate perversity of British soldiers, were always wandering into infected villages, or drinking deeply from rain- flooded marshes; comforting the panic-stricken with rude speech, and more than once tending the dying who had no friends - the men ...
— This is "Part II" of Soldiers Three, we don't have "Part I" • Rudyard Kipling

... considering Lucas Brownlow as the cause of most of Cecil's Eton follies, she had given her eldest son a private hint to elude joining forces with the family, and he was the most docile and obedient of sons. Yet was it the perversity of human nature that made him infinitely more animated and interested in John Brownlow's race and the distressed travellers on the Schwarenbach than he had been ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... thought that I ought to tender her a home with us. Had she been any other than the captious, cross-grained creature that she was—bad her misfortunes produced only in part their legitimate and desirable effects of subduing her perversity—I should have had no sort of objection. But I knew her imperious and unreasonable nature; and I may here add, that, by this time, I knew something of my own: I was a man of despotic character. The constant conflicts ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... curtain her nerves are in rags. Henry James finds in Ibsen a "charmless fascination," but by no means insists on the point that Hedda is disagreeable. Nor is he so sure that she is wicked, though he admits her perversity. The late Grant Allen once said to William Archer that Hedda was "nothing more nor less than the girl we take down to dinner in London, nineteen times out of twenty," which, to put it mildly, is an exaggeration. The truth is, Hedda is less a type than a ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... is that the fathers of the Society do not desire other orders than their own to enter into Japon, giving as a reason that others would not know the method which must be followed in preaching to those heathen, whose perversity has need of cunning to overcome it. This the fathers say they know, as they have been occupied in this conversion for fifty years; and they say that there would be great occasion for weakening the belief of the natives ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609 • Various

... seriously that they almost lost their minds. And yet the fact that they cherished hatred or envy in their hearts, that they had cursed before or after Mass, that they had intentionally lied or slandered, all this moved them not at all. Whence this perversity? From the "traditions of men who turn from the truth," [Tit. 1:14] as the Apostle says. Because we have neglected to offer God a confession of true sins, He has given us up to our reprobate sense, [Rom. 1:24] ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... her nearness. It was not at all like the encounter which she had so ably managed in her imagination an instant before, and somehow that graciously kind greeting of hers was lost completely through the perversity of an utterly different mood. She waited, eyes gleefully bright, until he was almost opposite her before she coughed, ever so faintly. Then she tilted her nose aloft in enchanting mimicry of his lean and ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... all-important question, together with her insistent plea to remain in Kentucky all summer, might have aroused the old lady's suspicion had she not long ago decided that the explanation of all Eleanor's motives was perversity. ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... the strings by which they are tied getting entangled together. In an exaggerated pantomime, Madame Tres-Propre expresses her despair at wasting so much of our valuable time: oh! if it only depended on her personal efforts! but ah, for the natural perversity of inanimate things which have no consideration for human dignity. With monkeyish antics, she even deems it her duty to threaten the lanterns and shake her fist at these inextricably tangled strings which have the presumption to delay us. It is all very well, but we know this ...
— Madame Chrysantheme • Pierre Loti

... sighed profoundly. "A-a-ah! Was ever a mother so tried! Such temper, such perversity! Her father, all ...
— Out of the Primitive • Robert Ames Bennet

... rung of the ladder, and was regularly signed as a member of the crew of the Island Princess, bound for Canton with a cargo of woolen goods and ginseng. There was much that puzzled me aboard-ship—the discontent of the second mate, the perversity of the man Kipping (others besides myself had seen that wink), and a certain undercurrent of pessimism. But although I was separated a long, long way from my old friends in the cabin, I felt that in Bill Hayden I had found a friend of a sort; ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... Kirton displayed her loyalty in a conspicuous manner. She had an old crimson gauze skirt on, once a ball-dress, with ends of purple ribbon floating from it and fluttering in the wind; and a purple head-dress with a crimson feather. Maude, in a spirit of perversity, displayed a blue shoulder-knot, timidly offered to her by a young Oxford man who was staying there, Mr. Shute; and Anne Ashton wore the colours ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... to himself, amid these pranks and hoaxings, we do not know. The poor soul was not born a fool; though he had become one, by college-learning, vanity, strong-drink, and the world's perversity and his own. Under good guidance, especially if bred to strict silence, he might have been in some measure a luminous object,—not as now a phosphorescent one, shining by its mere rottenness! A sad "Calamity of Authors" ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume V. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Bottles and I rode toward Bath, I thought of a cloaked figure and a pair of shining eyes, and it seemed to me that I recalled the curve of sweet, proud lips. I knew that I should be thinking of my papers, my future; but a quick perversity made me dwell for a long trotting time in a dream of feminine excellence, in a dream of feminine beauty which was both ascetic and deeply sensuous. I know hardly how to say that two eyes, a vision of lips, a conception ...
— The O'Ruddy - A Romance • Stephen Crane

... his perversity that he left his name upon nothing that he made, with one exception. Vasari relates ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... enjoying Him who created the suns themselves; and when these starry lustres that now glorify the firmament shall wax dim, and fade away like a wasted taper, the light of the soul shall still remain; nor time, nor cloud, nor any power but its own perversity, shall ever quench its brightness. Again I would say that whenever a human soul is born into the world, God stands over it, and pronounces the same sublime fiat, "Let there be light!" And may the time soon come, when all human governments shall coperate with the divine ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... Queen, who had procured the dismissal of Turgot thirteen years earlier. And it was one long tale throughout, from the first hour of the reign down to those last hours at the Tuileries in August 1792; one long tale of intrigue, perversity, and wilful ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 8: France in the Eighteenth Century • John Morley

... I will, out of perversity, if not common charity; for some of these people think that because I'm an abolitionist I am also a heathen, and I should rather like to show them, that, though I cannot quite love my enemies, I am willing ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 73, November, 1863 • Various

... laboring, and had labored all my life, not for myself, but for them and their children. Their attempts, however, made me not to swerve either to the right hand or to the left, although to see and feel so sorely their injustice and ingratitude made me often lament the frailty, the perversity, and sinfulness of our fallen nature. I persevered in an onward course, determined, as the steward and servant of my Master, to do them good whether they would have it or not. And I have so strove, so labored, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... perversity, the weather changed early in the evening, and the night that followed was punctuated regularly by the blast of the fog-whistle. The next day broke thick and damp, with a wall of impenetrable mist shadowing the great vessel to half her length. ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... to be done, he did not yield readily to suggestions, or even to commands, and had a way of coming back to the disputed point, and even of carrying it, to a certain extent, which looked to his grandfather like sheer perversity. ...
— David Fleming's Forgiveness • Margaret Murray Robertson

... teaching, unless it is in writing a story. I cast about in my mind for various models, as a sort of guide; but the only spirits that emerged from the vasty deep were Dr. Blimber and Cornelia. With an inconvenient perversity, they refused to be laid, and kept dancing before me all day. In entering upon my career, I was firmly impressed with two convictions: one was that I didn't know anything, and the other was that my pupils would ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... led me to give you such a book? What demon of perversity tempted you to send me such a review of Miss Addams's Hull-House heresies? You know my abhorrence of our "kind-hearted materialism" (so you call it), yet you calmly write me a long panegyric on this last outbreak ...
— The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance • Paul Elmer More

... what inscrutable perversity possessed him, he asked himself, as he looked up at the slight elegant figure, clad in costly camel's-hair garments, with Russian sables wrapped about her delicate throat, with a long drifting plume casting flickering shadows over her sweet flowerlike face; the attractive embodiment of patrician ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... she had not, so much the better for her; for her father was almost as difficult to manage as David himself. The old gentleman could neither comprehend nor forgive what seemed to him his daughter's immeasurable perversity. One day she had been all for marrying a poor, unknown preacher; and the next day, when to marry him meant to be the foremost lady in the neighborhood, she dismissed him without appeal. And the worst of it was that, much as the poor colonel's mouth watered at ...
— David Poindexter's Disappearance and Other Tales • Julian Hawthorne

... accumulated with infinite labour; upon them, and of such materials has the great fabric of science been reared: but to insist that the approaches to science shall be open only to those who will surmount these gratuitous obstacles is mere perversity. Men's minds do not work in that way. How many would discover the grandeur of a Gothic building if they were prevented from seeing one until they could work out stresses and strains, date mouldings, and even perhaps cut templates? Most ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... Israel," by whom they were enslaved eighteen years. After which, Ehud, a Benjamite, became their deliverer, by assassinating the king of Moab, and another peaceful interval of eighty years elapsed: but such was the strange perversity of this extraordinary nation, that they abused their prosperity, and again apostatized from God. Nor will it be difficult or unprofitable to trace in ourselves some striking points of resemblance to them, and in the divine conduct that same character of love and forbearance which marks ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... hospitable women; and always there was Fitzhugh Carroll, suave, handsome, gentle, a polished man of the world among men, a courteous attendant to every woman, but always with a first thought for her. Was it sheer perversity of character, that elfin perversity so shrewdly divined by the hermit of the mountain, that put in her mind, in this far corner of the world, among these strange ...
— The Unspeakable Perk • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... was at this moment caused by a victory won over her Cousin Lisbeth's perversity; she had just wrung from her an avowal she had been hoping for these three years past. However secretive an old maid may be, there is one sentiment which will always avail to make her break her fast from words, and that is her vanity. For the last three ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... Hallam in reprobating their treatment of Laud. For the individual, indeed, we entertain a more unmitigated contempt than, for any other character in our history. The fondness with which a portion of the church regards his memory, can be compared only to that perversity of affection which sometimes leads a mother to select the monster or the idiot of the family as the object of her especial favour, Mr. Hallam has incidentally observed, that, in the correspondence of Laud with ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Stackpole remarked; "that's what's the matter with you." But for all this, in a day or two, she again permitted him to fix her attention and on the later occasion assigned a different cause to her mysterious perversity. "I know what's the matter with you, Mr. Touchett," she said. "You think you're ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1 (of 2) • Henry James

... almost spent itself, and Aholibah remained in the arid and flavourless town. Her intimate friends had weeks earlier gone to Trouville, to Dinard, to Ostende, to Hombourg, even as far as Brighton; but she lingered, seemingly from perversity. She came regularly to the cafe about eleven, always in company with her Prince, and was untiringly served by Ambroise. He was rewarded for his fidelity with many valuable tips and latterly with gifts—for on being questioned he was forced to admit that gratuities had to be shared with the other ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... say so?" I said, and I was surprised. I could not help thinking of what a glorious triumph it would be to that gentle saint, whose brow was never troubled but with the thought of her father's perversity. How often, how ardently, she had prayed for that day; how many Masses, how many Communions, she had offered to obtain that grace! Many a time I have seen her, after Holy Communion, straining her eyes on the Tabernacle, and I knew she was knocking vigorously at the Heart of Christ; ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... Hia might fittingly demand. As none of these appeared to entice her imagination, he went on to rebuke her want of foresight, and, still later, having unsuccessfully pointed out to her the inevitable penury and degradation in which her thriftless perversity would involve her later years, to kick the less substantial ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... of perversity entered into Ted, and merely because he was told not to tease Don he went on doing it, pretending that it was for the dog's good. Don took no heed of his pats, commands, reproaches, or insults, till Ted's patience gave out; and seeing a convenient switch near by he ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... were perverse people. In Scotland, according to one Wesleyan minister,[51] the miners read Adam Smith. In Northumberland, with still greater perversity, they preferred Plato. 'A translation of Plato's Ideal Republic is much read among those classes, principally for the socialism and unionism it contains; in pure ignorance, of course, that Plato ...
— Recent Developments in European Thought • Various

... Paeonians and Illyrians, and in fact all such personages— would prefer freedom to slavery; for they are not accustomed to obey orders, and the man, they say, is a bully. Heaven knows, there is nothing incredible in the statement. Unmerited success is to foolish minds a fountain-head of perversity, so that it is often harder for men to keep the good they have, than it was to obtain it. {24} It is for you then, men of Athens, to regard his difficulty as your opportunity, to take up your share of the burden ...
— The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 1 • Demosthenes

... alway very intent, and to move her head nice and intelligent, to show that she heard me; and once I saw that she lookt sudden at me with a dear light in her eyes; but this to be done in a moment, and she to be again silent-seeming and in her new perversity ...
— The Night Land • William Hope Hodgson

... funeral pile. I leave you to yourself. It is yet in my power to save him. Think whether you can stand to-morrow's horrors without shrinking! Think whether you can endure the after-reflection, that you were the cause of his death, and that merely through a perversity in refusing proffered happiness." ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... otherwise conducted on the highest plane. The dropping of this superfluous final letter had become habitual with Stanley through carelessness and conformance to environment. With Boland it was a matter of principle, practiced in a spirit of perversity, in rebellion against a world ...
— Copper Streak Trail • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... they have done and what they have only dreamt they did, and probably every race has gone through that stage of development. I don't know if excessive piety be a disease of the nerves, as some say, although what is piety in one generation does appear to be perversity in the next, as witness the sons of the clergy, and other children of pious people, who don't answer to expectation, as a rule. And I don't go much on churches or creeds, or faith in this personality or that. ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... character, if we neglected to pursue with him the fortunes of Mirabella. Like her type and prototype, we find that she has to suffer those mortifications which a good wife cannot but experience on witnessing the scorn, disdain, and enmity which follow the perversity of a wayward husband. Such, at least, we understand to be the meaning of those allegorical passages in which, as a punishment for her cruelty and pride, she is committed by the legal decree of Cupid to the custody and conduct of Scorn and Disdain. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II., November, 1858., No. XIII. • Various

... head and gave a brief account of Bobby's perversity. On the very next market-day the little dog must be restored to the tenant of Cauldbrae farm and, if necessary, tied in the cart. It was unlikely, young as he was, that he would try to find his way back, all the ...
— Greyfriars Bobby • Eleanor Atkinson

... beyond all this brave show the ridges of red war, and a noble perversity of soul made her turn her senses inward. Then her eyes grew dim, and her heart rose in pitying prayer for that small band of heroes standing together for life and liberty in the grim Alamo. No pomp of war was theirs. ...
— Remember the Alamo • Amelia E. Barr

... be turned away from, to be left waiting behind its brown veil for what might come. To abandon the high country, deliberately to cut loose from the known, deliberately to seek the presence that lay in wait,—all at once it seemed the height of grotesque perversity. We wanted to turn on our heels. We wanted to get back to our hills and fresh breezes and clear water, to our beloved cheerful quail, to our trails and the ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... for Grandcourt, even as a schoolboy, had invariably been tinged with tolerance and good-humoured contempt. Dysart had always led in everything; taken what he chose without considering Grandcourt—sometimes out of sheer perversity, he had taken what Grandcourt wanted—not really wanting it himself—as in the case of ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... that something still remained to Mrs. Potts, even after a year, of the pittance secured from the railway company, so that it was not necessity which drove her. To a considerable element of the town it seemed to be mere innate perversity. "It's in her," was an explanation which Westley Keyts thought all-sufficient, though he added by way, as it were, of putting this into raised letters for the blind, "she'd have to raise hell just the same if it had cost that ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... whim—a sheer piece of perversity—a sleeveless errand," Anthony answered. "So now we might set about sweeping and garnishing ourselves," he suggested, ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... casting their eyes about them, to grow experienced in the ways of men, or the on-goings of the world. This spectacle gave me, I can assure you, much and no little insight; and so dowie was I with the thoughts of what I had witnessed of the selfishness, the sinfulness, and perversity of man, that I grew more and more home-sick, thinking never so much in my life before of my quiet hearthstone and cheerful ingle; and though Thomas Clod insisted greatly on my staying to their head-meeting dinner, and ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... she has honoured him, that he do honour to Euripides. But, seized by perversity, he declares that if she will give him the Herakles tablets (which he has discerned, lying with the other gifts of Euripides), he will prove to her, by this play alone, the "main ...
— Browning's Heroines • Ethel Colburn Mayne

... taunts us, poor English, with always drawing comparisons against other nations, in favour of the splendour and opulence of our own Hospitals and Charitable Foundations—a thought, that never possessed me while writing the above, and which would require the peculiar obliquity, or perversity of talents, of my translator to detect. I once thought of dissecting his petulant and unprovoked note—but it is not worth blunting the edge of ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... Dellarme wished to speak to Miss Galland. Dellarme a major! This was his reward for his part in filling the ambulances with groans! In the days when he was at the La Tir garrison he had been a frequent caller. Now, in the perversity of her reasoning, out of the chaos of the tangent odds of her impressions since she had gone to hold the session of her school that morning, she thought of him as peculiarly one who gave to the profession of arms the attraction that had made it the vocation of the aristocrat. Waiting ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... to be assured of that; and yet, let me confess it, St Cross has a curious fascination for me. I feel there, it is true, that I am in a world different from that in which we do so well to rejoice, but such is my perversity I cannot help preferring the old to the new. This is a mere prejudice, quite personal to myself, and comes perhaps of being a Christian. When I look at St Cross I am vividly reminded that this ...
— England of My Heart—Spring • Edward Hutton

... Sometimes I think it was natural perversity; sometimes I think it was false pride at getting over sea-sickness; sometimes I think it was reading 'Robinson Crusoe,' and books warning of me not to go ...
— The Frozen Deep • Wilkie Collins

... Edward!" continued the softened veteran, "how many of my day-dreams have been destroyed by thy perversity! nay, I know not that Kit, discreet and loyal as he is, could have found such a favor in my eyes as thyself; there is a cast of thy father in that face and smile, Ned, that might have won me to anything short of treason—and then Cicely, ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... her, and continued it till one of them appeared to dart at her, out of the dance, as if with a sharp peck. It came to her with a lively shock, with a positive sting, that Mr. Drake was—could it be possible? With the idea she found herself afresh on the edge of laughter, of a sudden and strange perversity of mirth. Mr. Drake loomed, in a swift image, before her; such a figure as she had seen in open doorways of houses in Cocker's quarter—majestic, middle-aged, erect, flanked on either side by a footman and taking the name of a visitor. Mr. Drake then verily was a person ...
— In the Cage • Henry James

... sowing the seeds of future opposition to the Crown and to the Church. The temper of the House of Commons, however pronounced its adhesion to the Cavalier party, was stubborn and perverse; and stubbornness and perversity are never so provoking in politics as when they are united with an exaggeration of one's own opinion. The House resented almost with the tone and in the spirit of the Long Parliament, the dictation—and ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... it, and now that it was all over he tried to rejoice at the circumstances which had made his desire vain. Herein he went a little beyond sincerity; yet there were arguments which, at all events, fortified his wish to see that everything was well. It was not mere perversity that in the beginning had warned him against thinking of Cecily as a possible wife for him. Had she betrayed the least inclination to love him, such considerations would have gone to the winds; he would have called the gods to witness that ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... will properly govern and teach himself and his child to the honor of God; he leaves behind those whom God has commanded him to keep in body and soul, and would serve God in some other place, which has not been commanded him. Such perversity no bishop forbids, no preacher corrects; nay, for covetousness' sake they confirm it and daily only invent more pilgrimages, elevations of saints, indulgence-fairs. God have pity on ...
— A Treatise on Good Works • Dr. Martin Luther

... exasperated frame of mind, Button had been ready to believe almost any story at the expense of Lanier, and, such is the perversity of human nature, it added to rather than diminished his wrath that his revered senior surgeon should promptly corroborate the statements of both Schuchardt and Ennis, and further assume personal and entire responsibility for the episode of Saturday afternoon in Lanier's quarters. ...
— Lanier of the Cavalry - or, A Week's Arrest • Charles King

... of strangeness came to Bunny. Surely this was a grown woman speaking! This was not the wild little creature he knew. But—perhaps it was from perversity—her warning only ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... long as she dared, then moved away. But she had barely got her head back on her pillow when "Was that you, mother?" came from the next room. Her mother always said of Sally that nothing was certain but the imprevu, and ascribed to her a monstrous perversity. It was this that caused her to sleep profoundly through that most awakening of incidents, a person determined not to disturb you, and then to wake up short into that person's ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... apple-tree and lamented Gwendolen; here spoke with Kentigern; here fell into his enchanted trance. And the legend of his slumber seems to body forth the story of that Celtic race, deprived for so many centuries of their authentic speech, surviving with their ancestral inheritance of melancholy perversity and patient, unfortunate courage. ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... a liar by such language: you sully my honour. I declared I could not change: you tell me to my face I shall change soon. And what a distortion in your judgment, what a perversity in your ideas, is proved by your conduct! Is it better to drive a fellow-creature to despair than to transgress a mere human law, no man being injured by the breach? for you have neither relatives nor acquaintances whom you need fear to offend ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... confine them for the future to his jesting moods. Because, indeed, I am not in the very least degree perverse in this fault of mine, which is my destiny rather than my choice, and comes upon me, I think, just where I would eschew it most. So little has perversity to do with its occurrence, that my fear of it makes me sometimes feel quite nervous ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2) • Frederic G. Kenyon

... and too little fighting. His liberality in the matter of heroines compensates me not at all for his niggard accounts of the war. That he himself should apparently take more interest in dalliance than in strife seems to indicate sheer perversity, for, when once he has ceased to toy with tennis-teas and trivialities, it is possible to respect the opinions of those admiring critics even if it is impossible to agree with them. The little fighting ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 21, 1914 • Various

... "Arcadia" is the comic, and with this, as might be expected from the rather crude ideas of humor prevalent in the sixteenth century, Sidney met with indifferent success. The wit depends on the ugliness, the perversity, and the clownish character of Dametas, his wife, and their daughter Mopsa. It partakes of the nature of the practical joke, and though it no doubt amused the courtiers of Elizabeth, is too clumsy for a more cultivated taste. ...
— A History of English Prose Fiction • Bayard Tuckerman

... clever, lest the reader should have had the trouble of drawing an inference. Burnet's good old prattle I can bring present to my mind—I can make the revolution present to me; the French Revolution, by a converse perversity in my nature, I fling as far from me. To quit this damn'd subject, and to relieve you from two or three dismal yawns, which I hear in spirit, I here conclude my more than commonly obtuse letter; dull up to the dulness of ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... and wife, such as can never endure, and which only humiliated and fatigued a woman whose apparent superiority was unreal, while her unseen superiority was genuine. This whimsical medley is commoner than people think. Dinah, who was ridiculous from the perversity of her cleverness, had really great qualities of soul, but circumstances did not bring these rarer powers to light, while a provincial life debased the small change of her wit from day to day. Monsieur de la Baudraye, on the contrary, devoid of soul, ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... Which Concerns Itself, among Other Matters, with the Virtues of a Pair of Stocks and the Perversity of Fathers. ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... aghast. With all the force of this new and tumultuous emotion, she hoped for her own defeat: yearned over him that he should refuse that for which she had unworthily pressed. Yet, such is the perversity of that strange struggle against the great surrender, that she gathered every power of her sex to gain the dreaded victory. By an effort she commanded her voice, releasing herself from ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams



Words linked to "Perversity" :   perverse, fractiousness, unruliness, evilness, willfulness, perverseness, orneriness, wilfulness



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